We all know that it totally sucks to search for a job, but if you’re a little more inventive, then it can be quite a fun experience.
The following methods are perhaps more suitable for creatives such as photographers, writers, developers, designers, etc. (more so than someone looking for a job at a supermarket), but if you still feel like there are some rocks waiting to be turned, then try these out.
Use a fun resume
Although HR will always suggest sending a “normal” paper or online CV, sometimes it can be mighty impressive to give your resume in the form of something a bit quirky, such as a video, a box, printed on a chocolate bar wrapper or simply in a way rarely seen before. Only do this for the positions where you think you’ve got a really good chance and just want to give that little bit extra. There are even stories of successful applicants hiring out a billboard close to the office of where they are applying to!
Send your CV even if there are no vacancies
It’s true that many companies don’t even advertise their open positions to the general public. Some will only advertise internally or even rely on tools like LinkedIn to find worthy applicants. That’s why even if you don’t see any vacancies on a company’s website, it’s still a good idea to send your CV and cover letter for any role you think you’d be suitable for. You could even apply for a role that the company doesn’t even have yet, like a social media manager, for example, and tell them why they need one.
Be on LinkedIn
Nearly everyone is on LinkedIn these days. The social network is purely for job hunting and promoting yourself but in more of a passive way. If you have a good resume and solid references on your LinkedIn, companies will usually seek out you and offer a position. Don’t expect to set up a profile and watch the messages pour in, but work hard at making your profile as compelling as possible.
Place leaflets in a café or store
Leaflets are usually used to promote some sort of event, so why can’t they be used to help promote you? Most cafés and small stores are happy for people to leave their leaflets in a designated area, so if you feel like you’ve tried everything and want something new, then print out some leaflets detailing your skills and contact details. The front of the leaflet could say “Hire Me!” and the back could list some of your accomplishments, as well as your email address and website (if you have one). Consider leaflet printing at a place like print24 and see if you can impress the right person who finds your leaflet by chance.
Attend networking events
Networking opportunities theoretically can happen at any time, but often, specific industry-meetups are put on once a month or so in order for companies to find applicants in a more organic way. There’s a lot of hand-shaking and schmoozing, sure, but sometimes the best way to find out if you ‘click’ with a CEO is to meet him or her in an informal setting first. Meetup.com is a great website to check out for networking events.
Put your portfolio online
For those working in the creative industries, having an online portfolio is not only useful but required nowadays. For a graphic designer, telling a company about your experience and talents won’t mean anything if they can’t see your work. Get a website online or even use free sites like Flickr.
Have some personality in your applications
HR managers have to sift through hundreds and hundreds of applications for a position, so if they see one more “I’m a team player who works hard and is goal-orientated”, then they might scream and ignore the rest of your CV. Make your resume and cover letter more about your own personality and insert some life into it. The person reading it wants to discover more about you, not just read generic lines that they’ve seen before.